Express & Star

Laura Lexx speaks ahead of Birmingham Glee Club show

She's been described as the female comedian for a new generation.


Laura Lexx, who is also an actress and writer, is becoming one of comedy's fastest rising stars.

After a whirlwind introduction to the London comedy scene, which saw her reach the finals of both the Chortle and Paramount student competitions in her first year, Laura has been building on her early successes with gig dates across the Capital and the UK. She'll play Birmingham's Glee Club tonight and tomorrow, alongside Keith Farnan and Rob Deering.

Laura puts a quirky, Somerset spin on the world and is happy to relax with the audience and take any subject from a frank discussion of her struggles with IBS to the televisual preferences of sleeping bags. Yes, sleeping bags.

She built up her initial stage confidence as part of an improvised comedy troupe, leaving her with the skill and confidence to build up a quick rapport with the audience as a compere.

An avid writer, she has also produced and directed several stage plays at university, which were well received and allowed her to express a more serious side to her performance skills. She has continued to build an eager online following with her blog and has had recent success at the Edinburgh Fringe after developing a brand new panel show format, Quiz in My Pants, which delighted guest acts and audiences equally.

Laura's built her career quickly – though the moment when she realised things were really taking off was when a YouTube video went viral. It featured her slamming a sexist heckler and even featured in that bastion of the mainstream, the Daily Mail.

She says: "Jeepers, yeah, that really went nuts . . . So, I was MCing a really lovely club down in Brighton and a man right off the bat at the start of the show said he was 'miserable' and then told me he was 'expecting a man' and I dealt with him.

"I tried so hard to be upbeat but then he just wouldn't stop heckling and chipping in so I ended up having to seriously put him in his box. It's a pretty common story to be honest, it just happened to get filmed that time."

Laura can clock up hundreds of miles each week as she travels around the UK to play shows.

But that's a life that she enjoys and she finds stand-up shows in intimate clubs quite thrilling.

"For me, it's unbeatable in satisfaction, variety and responsibility.

"It's being invited into little pockets of communities, for just an evening, and being part of them before vanishing back into the night. You are invited into birthday parties, hen parties, stag dos, work drinks and friends reuniting, and you are entrusted with the success of their excursion.

"You see arts centres, community halls, pubs, back rooms, theatres of all different sizes . . . you meet volunteers, dedicated fans, disinterested collateral bystanders, and then you see motorway and home.

"I love the variety. My diary will say 'Bicester, £150, MC for Kevin Comedypromoter' and I'll know nothing more than that until I get there. Sometimes that description means a 250-seater theatre with impeccable technical spec and a full house booked in. Sometimes that exact same descriptions mean 12 people watching football with the sound down in their local pub until an odd woman with a microphone in the corner has finished telling no one about her marriage.

"With an Edinburgh show, your audience comes to you. They buy a ticket, sit down and allow you a little trust that you are what they want. It's invigorating, testing and creatively expansive.

"On the circuit you go to an audience… and they are anybody and everybody. They are someone on the one night they managed to get a babysitter and get out of the house with their partner, they are someone a bit tired from work and not sure why they committed to tickets four weeks ago, they are someone so up for it they are ready to laugh at the offstage announcer, they are someone at their first gig and thinking heckling is 90 per cent of the show . . . and you are the catalyst for their homogeny.

"It's the most exhilarating thing to walk on to that stage and into the light, into their night, and be sure that what you have in your mind and mouth will be enough to construct their evening."

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